The new British Prime Minister Theresa May announced six members of her cabinet today.

Amid a sweeping crackdown on dissent in Egypt, security forces have forcibly disappeared hundreds of people since the beginning of 2015, according to a new report from Amnesty International.

It's an "unprecedented spike," the group says, with an average of three or four people disappeared every day.

The Republican Party, as it prepares for its convention next week has checked off item No. 1 on its housekeeping list — drafting a party platform. The document reflects the conservative views of its authors, many of whom are party activists. So don't look for any concessions to changing views among the broader public on key social issues.

Many public figures who took to Twitter and Facebook following the murder of five police officers in Dallas have faced public blowback and, in some cases, found their employers less than forgiving about inflammatory and sometimes hateful online comments.

As Venezuela unravels — with shortages of food and medicine, as well as runaway inflation — President Nicolas Maduro is increasingly unpopular. But he's still holding onto power.

"The truth in Venezuela is there is real hunger. We are hungry," says a man who has invited me into his house in the northwestern city of Maracaibo, but doesn't want his name used for fear of reprisals by the government.

The wiry man paces angrily as he speaks. It wasn't always this way, he says, showing how loose his pants are now.

Ask a typical teenage girl about the latest slang and girl crushes and you might get answers like "spilling the tea" and Taylor Swift. But at the Girl Up Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., the answers were "intersectional feminism" — the idea that there's no one-size-fits-all definition of feminism — and U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Book News: Publishers Object To Proposed Punishments For Apple

Aug 8, 2013
Originally published on August 8, 2013 10:15 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

  • Five major publishers are objecting to restrictions the Justice Department wants to place on Apple for colluding with them to fix ebook prices. The proposal, which has not yet been approved by the judge in the case, would force Apple to end existing contacts with the publishers, in addition to several other measures that Apple called "draconian and punitive." In a court filing Wednesday, HarperCollins, Penguin Random House, Hachette, Simon & Schuster and Macmillan – all of which settled with the Justice Department rather than go to trial – said the restrictions would unfairly punish them by effectively eliminating the "agency model" for five years. Under the agency model, publishers, rather than retailers, set book prices. (CNET explains why some publishers prefer these deals.) "The provisions do not impose any limitation on Apple's pricing behavior at all; rather, under the guise of punishing Apple, they effectively punish the settling defendants by prohibiting agreements with Apple using an agency model," the publishers wrote. A hearing on the Justice Department's proposed measures is scheduled for Friday.
  • A Brooklyn "missed connection" on Craigslist has gone viral: It begins as a normal encounter on the subway ("I was wearing a blue-striped t-shirt and a pair of maroon pants. You were wearing a vintage red skirt and a smart white blouse") and then descends unexpectedly into a surrealist short story ("For months we sat on the train saying nothing to each other. We survived on bags of skittles sold to us by kids raising money for their basketball teams"). An email inquiry from NPR seeking comment (or, you know, a date) wasn't answered.
  • In a blog post titled "Are you still a Brain Surgeon?" the queen of steam and one of the bestselling novelists of all time, Danielle Steel, explains why she's tired of men asking her whether she's "still writing." She says: "What this does is that it immediately puts my writing into the category as a hobby. As in, are you still taking piano lessons, doing macrame, have a parrot? ... It is a way of suggesting that what I do is really not very important."
  • Brainpickings features some of Lewis Carroll's unforgettable etiquette advice in a post about The Alice in Wonderland Cookbook: "As a general rule, do not kick the shins of the opposite gentleman under the table, if personally unacquainted with him; your pleasantry is liable to be misunderstood — a circumstance at all times unpleasant."
  • NoViolet Bulawayo, whose novel We Need New Names was called "one of the most powerful works of fiction to come out of Zimbabwe in recent years," spoke to The Los Angeles Review of Books: "I grew up in a very different time in Zimbabwe; as part of the first generation of kids born after independence, I experienced stability, success, and normalcy and of course the Zimbabwe that I remember is terribly gone."
Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.